Guwahati: A tribal welfare department officer in a Chhattisgarh district has issued an order asking its staff members to get vaccinated against COVID-19, failing which their salaries for the next month will be withheld.
A copy of the order, issued by the assistant commissioner K S Masram in Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi district on May 21, went viral on social media where some people expressed displeasure over the ‘diktat’.
The order asked officers and employees working in the tribal welfare department-run offices, ashrams (residential schools) and hostels in the district to get inoculated and submit their vaccination cards at its office.
If they do not take the vaccine, their salaries for the next month will be withheld, said the order which came into force with effect from the date of being issued.
Earlier, Masram also issued an order on May 20 for the COVID-19 vaccination of families of all officers and employees working in the department.
When contacted, Masram told PTI on Wednesday night that the objective behind the order was to ensure 100 per cent vaccination of the department’s officers and employees in the fight against COVID-19.
He claimed that 95 per cent of the department’s staff members took the vaccine shots after the order was issued.
The official, however, also said the department was not going to withhold the next month’s salary of its staff.
“My intention was to get all my officers and employees vaccinated, nothing else,” he said.
All citizens aged 18 and above are eligible for taking the COVID-19 vaccine from May 1.